Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Skaneateles and Otisco Lakes #BTFL11

Tricia and I took the adventure van on a short road trip overnighter to check off two more lakes for the Bike the Finger Lakes challenge, leaving only Cayuga to meet our goal .  Sure, we had to look up how to pronounce Skaneateles and Otisco, the most easterly of the Finger Lakes. And a few times we really wondered if we were lost on our way there. But we only got slightly wrong turned once.

Once again the Finger Lakes Cycling Club's guides were great. We started at a boat launch and rode along the lake with few if any cars. Our morning was slightly chilly, but the long climb kept us warm until the sun started doing its job, After a bit we were routed slightly away from the water and through classic Americana farmlands, including a hop farm. I'd love to know what beer their crop ends up being used for.

We also rode past numerous historical markers and more than one cemetary. Unlike California and it's 1800s markers, the ones here reference the Revolutionary War and events taking place before the USA was the USA.

After riding through rich people neighborhoods we stopped briefly in the almost too cute town of Skaneateles for a quick snack at the waterfront.
We had one last real climb that paid off with a long, screaming decent back to where we parked.
We drove to Cortland to spend the night, but before we retired we went out to see the Barbie movie in a very small but near empty theater.

The next morning we tackled Otisco Lake. I was surprised the route started so far from the small lake. The lake itself is only six miles long but our route had us riding 46.5 miles. Later I read that there was a shorter cutoff that included a really nasty climb on a closed road, so it appears the FLCC knows how to plan a route after all. Plus, it was beautiful, so there's that.

We had wide shoulders and low traffic the whole way, and the vehicles that did pass us left us a lot of room.
The last 6 or so miles is very flat, and we were blessed with a pretty substantial tail wind (or we were having a good day....) that helped us zoom back to our van. 

Skaneateles Lake  40.53 mi  2,690 ft climbing
Otisco Lake       47.09 mi  2,073 ft climbing

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